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Sara Lee launches line of sandwich dressings

BY Jenna Duncan

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. Sara Lee has announced the launch of several new sandwich condiments.

The company said its Fresh Ideas Sandwich Dressings were designed to add gourmet flavor to sandwiches, whether at home, at work or at events such as picnics and barbecues. The dressings are available in five flavors: ranch, bacon, mustard with sub sandwich oil, horseradish with garlic and honey mustard with pepper.

The company said it created the line after results from a consumer study indicated that people were interested in trying new sandwich dressing flavors, but were hesitant to try them at home.

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Miller withdraws test marketing of craft beers

BY Jenna Duncan

MILWAUKEE After a month of less-than positive responses to its Miller Lite Brewing Collection craft beer variations in several Midwestern markets, newly-formed MillerCoors has ended testing in order to “rethink the brand,” the company has said. The recent test run began in April and was slated to last through September, but since has been halted.

Craft beer variations of Miller Lite, which blend the original with various styles such as amber, blonde and wheat ales, did not fare as well as expected among taste-testers in cities like Baltimore, Charlotte, N.C. and Minneapolis, a MillerCoors spokesman has said.

MillerCoors said that the idea behind the Miller Lite Brewing Collection was to market a low-calorie Miller Lite to craft drinkers and attract new beer drinkers, as well. But the company met some hang-ups spreading the message, as well as separately identifying classic Miller v from the craft collection.

Thursday, Miller’s parent company, SABMiller, reported that for the previous quarter 2008 major beer brand sales have fallen by 2 percent in North America, and lager consumption was down 1.6 percent around the globe. Additionally, North American retailer purchases of Miller Lite were down by 1.6 percent. Miller High Life sales were up less than 1 percent.

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Cartoon Arnold launches ‘Pure Hershey’s’ campaign

BY Jenna Duncan

NEW YORK This week Hershey, the chocolate candy giant, launched a new campaign of TV ad spots featuring the cartoon character Arnold and his friends—created by Aardman Animations, the folks behind Wallace and Gromit—and message of happiness and simplicity.

Towards 18- to 34-year-old consumers, will begin airing in the next quarter and continue through 2009. Each ad spots highlights an assortment “pleasant emotion,” with riffs of familiar pop music to match. “What makes a Hershey’s bar pure?” a female voiceover asks. The answers? “Pure delicious,” “pure happiness” and “pure simplicity.”

According to Nielsen Monitor-Plus, Hershey’s ad budget for 2007 was $100 million, and around $35 million in the first quarter of 2008. Hershey will up its ad spending by about 20 percent for this year and by 25 percent to 30 percent next year, company representatives have said.

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